Wonderful, loving and playful Highlanders
Highlanders are still fairly rare breeds, but they have started to become more popular in the last few years. If you have ever met a Highlander you will understand why they are wonderful, loving and playful breed. Let’s explore here more about the breed.
Unique characteristics of Highlanders, such as fun-loving and playful, make them wonderful breeds ideally suitable for families with small children. Highlanders love to play as well as sleep in a warm lap for hours on end.
Highlanders have distinctive features that make them unique among others. The features include their loosely curled ears and naturally short tail. Some pet parents may find Highlanders with polydactyl (extra toes) feet. This feature comes from their ancestor, Highland Lynx. But in the world of Highlanders, this extra toe is a disqualification, so you can consider it as a fault in this breed.
Colours and patterns
When it comes to patterns and colours, Highlanders come in all colours and patterns, except bicolour, which means any colour and white. They can have short hair or long hair. Other than the ears, their grooming needs are minimum, even the long-haired breeds of Highlanders do not need excessive brushing or grooming.
Extra care for ears
As for the ears of Highlanders, because of the curl, the cartilage is more crowded inside than a cat with normal straight ears. Because of such unique ears of Highlanders, they are more likely to get a buildup of debris inside them, so they should be cleaned on a regular basis. Cleaning once a month will do, but as per requirement, some may clean every two weeks. Cleaning can be fairly simple by using a commercial ear cleaning solution to squirt in their ears, then swabbing away any loosened debris with a cotton ball.
Highlanders can be seen in cat shows hosted by the International Cat Association (TICA) in their New Breed Rings. The Highlander is currently an Advanced New Breed, which is one step before becoming a championship breed. Several important goals must be met in order for the Highlander to be granted championship status, such as showing a certain number of cats, registering a certain number of cats, registering a certain number of litters, along with several other requirements. Many of these goals have already been met, and breeders are actively working on completing the remaining goals. Whether a champion in the ring or a non-standard pet, the Highlander is a unique, fun loving, playful, and devoted cat who will give you years of love and entertainment.
(Patti Struck has been breeding Highlanders and Savannahs for years. In addition, she is also a member of TICA Rules Committee, TICA Mentors Program and Savannah Committee.)